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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 17, 2020 4:00am-4:31am GMT

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this is bbc news. our top stories: in a giant leap for pandemic diplomacy — the world health organization is given the green light to visit wuhan in china to investigate the orgins of the virus. a court in france returns guilty verdicts in the trial 01:14 people accused of taking part in the charlie hebdo attacks in paris. nigerian officials say they won't pay ransoms for the boys kidnapped from a boarding school in the north of the country last friday. and a chinese space capsule has successfully returned with the first samples of moon rock in more than a0 years. smile and the world smiles at you — a study of facial expressions reveals just how similar to one another humans really are.
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welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. after months of negotiations china has agreed to a world health organization—led inquiry into the origins of the virus that causes covid—19. a team of ten international scientists will travel to the chinese city of wuhan next month. the search for the source has led to tensions, especiallly with the us, with president trump accusing china of trying to conceal the initial outbreak. paul hawkins reports. did it come from bats? did it use a host tojump to human. just some of the key questions who scientist
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will try to answer when they arrive in the city next month. their goal is to find the truth about where the virus came from and how it darted. what we know so far is that on the third ofjanuary china investigated a virus infecting dozens of people in the city. a week later, chinese media reported the first known death. september saw worldwide deaths past 1 million, half of which were in brazil, india, and the us, which in november became the first country to pass 250,000 deaths. finally this month, british woman margaret keenan became the first person in the world to be vaccinated outside trials. the truth about the virus‘ origins has been somewhat elusive. last december a chinese doctor warned his colleagues about the spread of a new mysterious disease but was told by police to stop making false comments and was later investigated for spreading
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rumours. he died a few months later after contracting the virus. but china's initial attempts to downplay the virus have led to accusations like that. china's secrecy, deceptions and cover—up allowed it to spread all over the world. 189 countries, and china must be held fully accountable. there were also accusations that the virus was accidentally leaked from this this is bbc news, the headlines: laboratory in the city. china has agreed to allow in a team of no—one knows for sure. world health organisation scientists next month to investigate the origins of the coronavirus. in the summer, a team that visited china beijing has been had difficulty negotiating reluctant to agree to an independent inquiry access to wu ha n. into the outbreak i think it will be very causing a series of diplomatic important for the chinese rows with other countries. a court in paris has found government to have transparency so that ia people guilty of links the scientist can look at everything so i think it to the three islamist extremists who attacked the satirical magazine, will be important for everybody to have open, transparent charlie hebdo, communication and having access to all the information so they and a jewish supermarket, in paris nearly 6 years ago. can make an informed decision. seventeen people were killed.
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scientist say finding out the longest sentences — 30 years — were given to a close friend of one of the attackers the truth about how the virus and his former girlfriend, started will be key to stopping future outbreaks. who is believed to be in syria. just how helpful the secretive jerome powell, chairman chinese authorities will be of the federal reserve, this time remains to be seen. the us central bank, let's speak to the bbc‘s has called for steps to stimulate the american economy, which is struggling to cope with the effects robin brant in shanghai. of the coronavirus crisis. he said the case for deploying government finances how much of a breakthrough is was very, very strong. this? how significant? it is surely likely that the chinese government will try to limit what the investigators can investigate. it is hugely significant and important to acknowledge that the world health organization now has a date, the beginning ofjanuary, for its ten person team investigation unit to come here and begin what they say could bea and begin what they say could be a six—week process of working out how the fire started. but they needed chinese consent to get here, they needed to agree on the
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terms of reference with china and this is a hugely contentious issue. calls by australia for an independent enquiry caused a rapidly deteriorating bilateral diplomatic relationship between those two countries and there is much scepticism in the west beyond china's borders about the extent to which this investigation can really be independent of chinese political influence, whether there will be transparency and, frankly, whether it can get to the bottom of how this thing started and how to prevent it happening again. do we have an idea yet of what investigators hope to be able to establish? look, we want to —— they want to come here and essentially do fieldwork. some reports talk of interviewing some of those people caught up in the first wave of infections that were publicised at that market in wu hand, a place they now believe
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was not the origin of the outbreak but may be a place where it was amplified. they wa nt to where it was amplified. they want to do epidemiological work, looking at samples taken from some of the first people infected, some of the first people who died, perhaps travel south to another province and do further investigation on the bats there who had a similar type of novel coronavirus. but the problem is it will be a year since this outbreak began, or that it was revealed publicly, until the who can begin an investigation, these terms have taken months to negotiate. china has gotten the who to agree that this is a globally focused investigation, not just the china globally focused investigation, notjust the china focused investigation. diplomatically it is contentious. i mentioned the australians and the british ambassador here has spoken about needing a shared understanding of how this began grounded in science. there are many who think that, frankly, thatis
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many who think that, frankly, that is the very best that they are going to get if and when this investigation concludes. they came here injuly, a 2—person team, for preliminary work and did not get beyond quarantine in beijing. work and did not get beyond quarantine in beijinglj work and did not get beyond quarantine in beijing. i have to ask you, you only have to look at social media to think that many people leave the virus was leaked from a lab stop surely the chinese government will not encourage anybody to look into that. no. but what the government is doing through state run media here is reporting on and propagating various alternatives about how this began. there were no reports, publicly available reports of any outbreaks of this new type of coronavirus anywhere in the world before the end of december, before the outbreak started here in wu hand and before it took off. yet chinese state media recently has spoken about this type of novel
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coronavirus in italy in autumn, in the united states later on. it is propagating unsubstantiated alternative theories and the intention is clear, to muddy the waters about how this began and to deflect from china as the source, the origin of what became this global pandemic. thank you very much for that, robin. a court in paris has found 14 people guilty of links to the three islamist extremists who attacked the satirical magazine, charlie hebdo, and ajewish supermarket, nearly six years ago. 17 people were killed. the longest sentences — 30 years — were given to a close friend of one of the attackers and his former girlfriend who is believed to be in syria. our paris correspondent, lucy williamson, has been following the case. this trial has struggled to match the scale of the events behind it. those in the public gallery today better known than those in the dock. arriving for the verdict, surviving staff from a jewish
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supermarket and the magazine charlie hebdo, the two key targets in the attacks. the harshest verdict was for ali riza polat, sentenced to 30 years for complicity in the attacks. more than a dozen others were convicted of lesser crimes. seven were cleared of any specific link to terrorism. translation: what this decision says is that without this loose group of people around the terrorists, there is no attack, and anyone who supports terrorism even a little can be punished very severely. the men who carried out the islamist violence five years ago were all killed by police. amedy coulibaly and brothers cherif and said kouachi killed 17 people in a three—day campaign targeting journalists, jews and police officers. the satirical magazine charlie hebdo was targeted after printing cartoons of the prophet muhammad. those cartoons have since
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become the front line in a battle over freedom of speech in france. on the one hand, a symbol of the nation's right to blaspheme. on the other, a lightning rod for more jihadist attacks. two months ago, teacher samuel paty was beheaded in a suburb of paris after showing his class the cartoons during a discussion on freedom of speech. the government has proposed a new law to combat islamist extremism in france. but one survivor believes repeated islamist attacks are changing behaviour here. translation: al-qaeda is waging a communications war. it wants to scare people, and it's working. cartoonists no longer want to caricature the prophet. it's self—censorship. after the recent beheading of the teacher, a lot of teachers don't want to speak about secularism but freedom of expression.
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today's verdict said charlie hebdo marked the end of a cycle of violence. not many here think it's over. much of the terrorism has been home—grown — and convicting people isn't the same as convincing them. lucy williamson, bbc news, paris. ransoms will not be paid for the schoolboys kidnapped from their boarding school in northern nigeria. that's the message from the regional governor who's spoken to the bbc. he said the authorities are in contact with the group holding the children — he described the group as a gang of well—known local criminals — with links to the islamist militant group boko haram. more states in northern nigeria have ordered all schools to close following last week's kidnapping of hundreds our correspondent, mayeni jones sent this report. bring back our boys — that's what these young activists plan to ask the government during their march on thursday. they are worried any delay could prove disastrous.
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these children could be exposed to dangers of training on the use of arms, so they can be used for further attacks in other places, and also they can be exposed to drugs. the government has come under fierce criticism for its handling of attacks. boko haram's claim of responsibility for friday's mass kidnapping shows their influence could be spreading. boko haram doesn't usually operate in this part of nigeria, and the governor of katsina state tried to downplay its involvement. even though the methods being used by boko haram have been employed in this abduction, we cannot precisely say we are dealing with boko haram yet. there have been repeated comparisons between friday's kidnapping and a 2014 abduction of the chibok girls. over half of them were freed. it's unclear how the government secured their release.
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some believe they paid a ransom. the authorities deny they did then, and won't entertain the thought now. i don't think the issue of ransom for money is on the table. it should not be on the table. it should not. we don't pay kidnappers money, because it's an encouragement. we don't pay it. back at the secondary school where her child was abducted, this parent is sceptical about boko haram's claims. translation: i don't believe the claim by the leader of boko haram that he ordered the kidnapping of our children. we were told that thieves took away our children, and i stick to that. with schools here now closed until security improves, getting an education in north—west nigeria has become precarious. mayenijones, bbc news, katsina. now to an extraordinary and almost certainly deliberate image of submission from hong kong, where civil
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servants have been required publicly to swear a new pledge of loyalty to the government. hard to credit from this shot, but civil servants were one of the groups that took to the streets in large numbers last year — calling for greater democracy and police accountability. china's authoritarian leaders have overseen a widespread crackdown on dissent in hong kong. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: a little light at the end of the covid tunnel — the deaf music teacher who, like so many others, took her lessons online, but has become a global sensation. music and chanting. saddam hussein is finished because he killed our people, our women, our children. the signatures took only a few minutes, but they brought a formal end
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to 3.5 years of conflict, conflict that has claimed more than 200,000 lives. before an audience of world leaders, the presidents of bosnia, serbia and croatia put their names to the peace agreement. the romanian border was sealed and silent today. romania has cut itself off from the outside world in order to prevent the details of the presumed massacre in timisoara from leaking out. from sex at the white house to a trial for his political life, the lewinsky affair tonight guaranteed bill clinton his place in history as only the second president ever to be impeached. this is bbc world news. the latest headlines: the world health organization is to send a team to wuhan next month to investigate the origins of the coronavirus
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pandemic after an international row over china's co—operation. a court in france has convicted the accomplices of the islamist militants who carried out the charlie hebdo attacks in paris. their sentences range from four to 30 years in prison. a chinese spacecraft has returned to earth with the first samples from the moon in more than a0 years. the craft, without any crew on board, spent three weeks in space, sampling rocks and soil. the capsule carrying the samples touched down in the northern region of inner mongolia about six hours ago. scientists hope the samples will help them understand more of the structure and history of the moon. a chinese flag was planted near the capsule. the astronomer, doctorjonathan mcdowell, explained to us the significance of the mission. this is a pretty big deal for china. they have been catching up in space and this is the most ambitious project they have done. they ran a whole rehearsal mission for this, way back in 2014, so they have
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been preparing for this moment for a long time and the fact that it went off so successfully is going to give them confidence to do even more ambitious missions in future. and i think the samples have come, haven't they, from a younger part of the moon than has been surveyed before. why is that important? well, so you're seeing how the later history of the moon, which is still billions of year ago that they are sampling, rolled out. it tells us about the history of our own planet, right. there are all these rocks going through space, hitting the moon, hitting the planets, hitting the earth, but on the earth erosion has wiped the history clean. on the moon it is almost pristine. we can then learn a lot about our own history by studying these rocks from the moon. it is a pretty exciting time generally for space exploration, isn't it? i mean, coming on the heals of the japanese asteroid sample, among much else? yeah, it has been a very busy time and particularly in these deep space missions. we are seeing i think a new era
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of these deep space missions that the sample returns from distant asteroids, from the moon and people are trying to figure out how to bring back rocks from mars and so there's a maturity of these programmes. we're also seeing, of course, the sample return from the asteroid from the japanese probe, we're seeing a united arab emirates probe heading to mars, so deep space is becoming much more international as well. and rocket tech opening new opportunities? that's right. so we saw the first real test flight of the spacex starship rocket, up a few miles. they have a ways to go in debugging it but, once it gets working, it will make it much cheaper to putting large complex missions in orbit. and so i think we're seeing a lot of new developments. there are other new rockets on the way.
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the new zealand launchpad of rocket lab has just put — has a small rocket which has put more satellite in orbit. so a lot of foment in the space industry, trying out new things, more imaginative things. and in a sense, each country seems to try a slightly different approach. is china making a political and perhaps strategic point in what it is doing? absolutely. for the early part of the space age, china was not really into space and in the early 90s they made a strategic decision that, "oh, ok, we better catch up and be a player." and since then they have been ramping up and now, in terms of launch rate, they are launching as many rockets as the us is, so it has been a huge investment on their part, a very impressive ramp up of industrial capacity, and they really see this as a way to prove that they are at the forefront as a nation in technology. drjonathan mcdowell. have you ever wondered how much you should read into a facial expression?
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well a new study suggests there's much more than meets the eye and that the way we smile or frown reveals how much humans have in common. our reporter tom brada investigates. feeling confused? feeling confused ? let feeling confused? let me explain. a new study has found that people across the world, no matter where they are from, use the same facial expressions to convey how they are feeling. the human face is amazingly complex. it has more than a0 different muscles, allowing it to paul literally thousands of expressions. add to this the geographical and cultural differences from country to country, person—to—person, and you might think that we would have little in common when it comes to how a user faces. have little in common when it comes to how a userfaces. yet research carried out by the university of california berkeley, as well as google, found the very opposite to be true. allen helped develop the
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technology and led the study. we looked at public videos that we re we looked at public videos that were posted on youtube, largely from people's mobile phones, to be registered in capturing everyday situations, we analyse 6 million videos in total, coming from iaa countries, and to analyse all of those facial expressions we had to build a machine learning algorithm that could take an image and spit out some measurements of facial muscle movement. from smiling ata muscle movement. from smiling at a fireworks display. to borrowing your brow and trying to console a child, the algorithm found that people use similar methods to communicate how they feel, knowing this, can produce some real—world benefits. in a hospital context, you might be interested in whether someone is feeling pain, and be able to very quickly administer an anaesthetic, you might be interested in whether an infant
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is likely to develop autism. this study shows that universal human emotional expressions are more complex than previously thought. they say that the eyes of the window to the soul. but this study shows that the whole human face is key to understanding how someone really feels. in a world which often seems so divided, it's nice to think that in some ways, we are alljust the same. scientists at the royal botanic gardens in london have named more than 150 new plants and fungi this year. they say the breadth of new species, from orchids to future food crops, highlights the diversity of plants still to be identified. but the botanists at kew warn that two in every five plants are threatened with extinction. the united nations has added the north african dish couscous to its list of the world's intangible cultural heritage. tunisia, algeria, morocco, and mauritania submitted couscous to unesco together in a joint bid.
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their arab maghreb union, which also includes libya, has not met since 199a. a unesco statement describes the listing as part of its efforts to bring peoples and cultures closer together. teaching children music has been a life passion for emma hutchinson. so when lockdown was announced, her shift to online teaching and the impact this had on her children was stark. her efforts to draw out something positive from the experience led to her writing a christmas song, that to her surprise has gone global. here's emma's story. # la, la, la—la, la, la...#. when lockdown was announced, i was at home, in devon. our whole professional world turned around overnight to zoom lessons. it's lovely to see you here today. are you ready to roll? # something is tapping in my box...# a lot of families said, "oh,
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this is quite good fun, let's all have a go at doing the digital thing." but i think, after several weeks, you could get a sense of screen fatigue. smash! over the nine months, we noticed that many of our children are more reserved. they're less responsive to engaging with each other. language delay is becoming more evidenced. # christmas is here again, all around the world, hot or cold...# i was thinking, how can i make this a positive experience? how can i write something that is going to look forward to the future? i wrote four christmas songs. # christmas is here once more # family, neighbours, knocking at the door...# i gave my song to moonbug entertainment as part of a collective of christmas songs for children to enjoy. and then they got back in touch and said, "thank you very much, we'd like to use christmas is here again as our christmas single."
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# christmas bells are ring, ring, ringing # everyone is sing, sing, singing...# being deaf, i have to say, it has been, initially, a nightmare. and then it became quite funny. having a mask on, suddenly i couldn't see the face. 00:25:20,401 --> 2147483051:49:24,916 and i rely a lot 2147483051:49:24,916 --> 4294966103:13:29,430 on lip—reading.
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